Match 42
13th April 1929
Walsall (h)

Southern League
Barry Town (a)

Exeter City v Walsall 

Saturday, April 13th 1929.

EXETER CITY 1 (Doncaster)
WALSALL 1 (Walker)

The weather at St James's Park this afternoon was dull and dry, and there were four thousand spectators present when the teams came out. Walsall, who are not in the promotion hustle on the one hand nor the relegation struggle on the other, were without Gough, their regular centre forward and Walters, their regular right back. Exeter relied on the team which was held to level pegging by Watford on Wednesday.

Exeter City: Holland; Lowton and Miller; Sheffield, Dennington, and Clarke; Purcell, Doncaster, Wade, Bastin, and Death.

Walsall: Wait; Groves and John; Bradford, O'Brien, and Lochhead; Moffatt, Thomson, Walker, Robson, and Murphy.

Referee:- Mr W.E.Russell, of Swindon.

O'Brien, the Irish International, won the toss, and his sterling defensive qualities were seen to advantage when he held up several promising Exeter attacks in the early stages. There was a mild sensation when Walker and Holland collided in the penalty area, both men being laid out. They resumed however, after attention on the field from the respective trainers. After 25 minutes Doncaster, who had been the liveliest of the City forwards, captured the ball from Groves, dodged round O'Brien, and then shot to the top corner of the net from just outside the penalty area. Four minutes from the interval, however, the Exeter goal had a miraculous escape, a long shot from Walker striking the bottom face of the crossbar to come down on the goal-line. The ball was hastily scrambled clear before the Walsall forwards could follow up.

Half-time: Exeter City 1 Walsall 0.

Play re-opened in the second half at a fast pace, and the strength of the rival defences was a feature of the play for a time. Holland several times ran out to support his backs, and the excellent defensive combination of the City augured well for their prospect of success. Hardly were these words written, however, before Walsall levelled the score. Quick square passing by the visitors in the Exeter penalty area drew Lowton and Miller out of position, Walker being left in possession five yards from the goal with the goalkeeper only in front of him. He lost no time in firing into the net, and the hopes of the City supporters sank once more with the scoring of that goal, after one hour's play. Play was very stubbornly contested after this, and for a time neither side could claim superiority over the other. Exeter gradually gained the upper hand, with Sheffield having a big say in things, but the weak finishing of the forwards let the team down, as it has done so often this season. Shots by Wade and Doncaster lacked the necessary "powder" to beat Wait, and in the Walsall defence O'Brien continued to be the master-mind.


It seems impossible for Exeter City to win a match, no matter how well they play. The very desperation of their need appears to militate against their chances. On the play this afternoon the drawn result was the right conclusion, Walsall being a sound team, with an exceptionally good pivot in O'Brien, the Irish International. Exeter failed badly in attack during the last quarter of the game, Bastin's customary flashes of genius being absent for once, and Wade being outmatched by O'Brien.

Southern League 

Play in this Southern League game at Barry, which was Exeter Reserves' last on foreign soil in this competition, was very interesting in the first half. Exeter, playing against a strong wind, nevertheless had a good share of the exchanges. Joe Clennell, the old Everton and Cardiff City player, obtained the lead for Barry with a tremendous shot from 30 yards, but the goal was no reflection on Campbell, who was unsighted by other players getting in his way. Within ten minutes of the second half starting Exeter drew level. Cameron put in a high shot which rebounded off the crossbar, and Hick put the ball neatly into the net.


The Exeter City Directors have asked the club captain, W.McDevitt, to accept the position of players' manager, with the special and important duties of securing new talent to fill the positions in which the club is the weakest at the present, and to take charge of the players next season. McDevitt has nearly completed four seasons with Exeter City (he came here on transfer from Liverpool in the summer of 1925) and although signed on as a centre-half he has rarely appeared anywhere in the City teams other than in the inside-right position. A notable exception was the Devon Championship final at Home Park, when with "Mac" at centre-half the Grecians pulled off a smart and unexpected victory over Plymouth Argyle. Last season, under McDevitt's captaincy, the Exeter team was welded into one of the brightest and most successful sides in the Southern Section, and the hope is that the Belfast man, whose wizardry with the ball has so often been a big feature of the Grecians' play, will be able to build a match - winning team for next season. McDevitt has a very wide knowledge of the game and of its exponents in all parts of the country, and this knowledge should prove of material benefit to the local club.


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